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Here are 10 Workplace Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Yay, 2016 is finally history! What a long, strange trip it was, too. Take it away, John Oliver.

To be honest, there have been worse years (the Great Depression years weren't exactly a bowl of strawberries, for starters) and we have to stay positive. Let's move on. It's 2017 and time for new beginnings!

Have You Made Your New Year's Resolution Yet?
It's time for new year's resolutions at work, and the list of evergreen resolutions is long. We're going to eschew the office cake culture. We're going to hit the gym after work every day. We're going to take the stairs instead of the elevator. We're going to get a new job. We're going to get that promotion.

We're going to create a better work-life balance. We're going to arrive five minutes early for everything. We're going to use social media less and interact in person more. We're going to land a big client. We're going to be more present in our own lives. We're going to put our smartphones away and listen to our kids. We're going to work smarter instead of harder. We're going to...

...keep these resolutions until January 9 and call it good. But let's make this week awesome, okay?

10 Attainable Workplace Resolutions For 2017
Sorry to keep it so real, but keeping our new year's resolutions is hard work. Just ask any gym owner. What we need right now is a list of workable, attainable workplace resolutions. Without further ado, here are ten workplace resolutions that any employee can easily work on in 2017!

1. Be less judgmental. Judging others is second nature in the social media age. Make a conscious effort this year not to be so critical of others all the time. When you feel yourself making a snap decision about how something (or someone) "obviously" must be, remember that you rarely have all the facts. Let this acknowledgement humble you, as it should.

2. Be more considerate. Clean up after yourself in the break room. Leave a co-worker's work area as you found it. Return the things you borrow. When you walk through a door, hold the door for the next person. Let your co-worker finish what she's saying before jumping in. Put the seat back down on the office toilet. Replace the empty toilet paper roll if you can, too. These small gestures make a big difference in a workplace.

3. Be more fair. Ah, fairness! We could all use a little bit more of it at work, right? When assessing a workplace situation, ask yourself if you're being fair, all things considered. Look at both sides before making a decision.

4. Be more thoughtful. There's a big difference between speaking on social media and speaking to a real person standing in front of you. Strive to be more thoughtful in your workplace interactions. Ask yourself: Is what I'm about to say a hurtful thing to say? Is this an intrusive question to ask? Ponder how can you add something positive to negative workplace conversations.

5. Be more kind. Strive for small acts of workplace kindness every day. You're not going to talk behind a co-worker's back anymore. You're not going to spread a rumor. In sum, you won't feed the workplace drama monster anymore. The truly confident people are those who are able to compliment others.

6. Be more of a listener. We're so busy trying to talk over each other that we forget to listen. Make it a personal challenge to become a better listener at work this year. One trick I learned as a journalist is to silently count to five before asking the next question. This way, I'm less likely to talk over the other person. Of course, you will have to interject if the other person is a compulsive talker, but that's another story.

7. Be more accountable. Do what you say, and say what you're going to do. Then do it. Your co-workers will know you mean business. In the process, you'll build your credibility at work by being so reliable. Not a bad 12-month plan!

8. Be more wise. You don't have to be old to be wise. Wisdom is gained by learning from past mistakes and vowing never to repeat them. It means having solid judgment, knowing basic right from wrong and using good, common sense. To become more wise, you have to become less judgmental. Being too judgmental takes up energy and valuable brain bandwidth that could go toward developing your sense of wisdom.

9. Be more positive. It's fashionable these days to complain, but nobody likes a whiner who never has anything good to say! Save your biggest gripes for the biggest workplace problems. Pour your energy into finding solutions instead of looking for problems. See Tip #4.

10. Just be more. Work on your internal monologue as much, if not more, than you work on external appearances. You might have noticed that the resolutions I offer require absolutely no monetary investment. But they do require an investment of mind and determination. Even if you pick only one resolution to work on, then I applaud you. You are making the workplace a better place for us all.

Sure, my new year's resolution ideas aren't as sexy as climbing Mount Everest or competing in a triathlon, but they'll make you a wiser, more fascinating working professional in the long run. Now go pick your lane, and move forward. Happy New Year!


  1. ah ... the classic stairs vs elevator get fit for the New Year advice. Starting an office cake culture sounds more fun though right ?

    1. Well, who doesn't like cake? Sounds good to me...


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